China & Taiwan #October

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MichaelH

Active member
The honest truth here is that the legislative branch does not have the political and, frankly, moral will to take responsibility for these decisions. The War Powers Act exists and has existed since 1973, and the principles contained in the Act existed long before that. I appreciate the sentiment from legislators who want to do some things to roll back the executive authority here, but why on earth would we take it seriously? Use the authority you have, insist on that authority being respected, and act to remove a president who will not comply. This ought to be a bipartisan issue and patriotic legislators of any ideology should want to take responsibility for the weightiest decisions facing our country. Of course, the bipartisan consensus here really is that congress critters just do not give a damn by and large. They're happy to throw stones and grandstand, but they don't care enough to put their careers on the line. Afghanistan alone spans four administrations without accounting for anything pre 9/11.

Nobody in Congress has any interest at all in putting their chips where their mouths are and taking a firm position with consequences on Taiwan. And this is a problem that goes beyond foreign policy to the general expansion of the administrative state, and I guess that debate is outside the scope here. But the fact is that I and many others on this thread are far stronger advocates for Congress than Congress itself. As long as that is true, we will continue to drift in and out of conflicts without a firm national decision on the record to either stand up or stand down. Doesn't matter what law we pass or threaten to pass. I won't take any of that seriously until they take themselves seriously.
 

expat42451

Active member
MichaelH really excellent post!!! . The original War Powers Act was from 1941 and arguably based on the 1917 Reorganization Act. Point is that we have moved farther and farther toward a government with an executive of unlimited power. When has congress disapproved already underway military action under the new set of rules? Disapproved enough to actually do something other than bitch like a bunch of spanked crybabies in spite of what the y told their consitiuencies and in spite of what they were ELECTED to do.....Though so. Never. Spineless legislators bowing to a combination of lobbyist money and an over reaching executive branch. Those of you that so choose can argue as you might but didnt we just get out of the longest war (oh wait it was a police action) in US history? Thought so. What we have is not what was intended. Read the Federalist Papers.

Aside from the polemics here which I WONT much engage in, there is this


Which I just saw from Taiwan News.
Regards.

Edit
Dark noon I just upvoted you for this post of yours
"Agree congress needs to remove most of the executive branches authorities regarding foreign policy."
But although I completely agree I respectfully suggest that what it should have read is.... "US voters need to remove all congressional members and the new congress needs remove most of the executive branches authorities regarding foreign policy and commitment of US troops and material to foreign entanglements"

As we have seen and I think all will agree here -- that the US is nothing more than a clown show, has been for some time.
 
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Obreid

Power Poster
My underlying point here was that US policy regarding Taiwan should be clarified and endorsed by Congress as firmly supporting Taiwan militarily if they are attacked by PRC.
It is not that I want or aim to be hawkish about Taiwan. But if we’re not completely clear in our support of Taiwan the CCP will continue to press the issue with intrusions and possibly force. A defense treaty would seem appropriate here.
I see it as an effort to avert a war not provoke one.
 

expat42451

Active member
Obreid
Could not agree more. Absolutely. Should be no question in Xi's mind about how hard he will step on his own petard should he decide to go forward....however we seem to have nothing but drooling idiots in both the legislative and executive branches..... want an example??
Where in HELL is congress with this kind of thing going on. $61 BILLION in exports approved to what is reportedly a company run by and certainly under the auspices of the Chinese military??
from the article
"[T]he Commerce Department said that the release of an "arbitrary snapshot" of license approvals "risks politicizing the licensing process and misrepresenting the national security determinations" made by the government."
No we sure as hell dont want to risk politicizing it do we.....
Years ago I had a coal brokerage firm. I was approached by Vietnam wanting my company to represent their coal products on the world market. I did call someone in the US Department of State about this and was told in no uncertain terms that I would be hung from my thumbs, flayed, gutted, drawn, quarted, dipped in naptha and set alight.... and the remains would be scattered on widely diverse patches of beaten and cursed ground on the dark of the moon if I even thought about trading with the enemy.... so one wonders.... where does this happen today.
I totally agree with you about a clear and concise policy about what the US will do in the event China decides to go forward but...but... the fact that the US gummint is the joke that it has become only leads to a higher danger of bad decisions by all concerned given the way things are.
Regards
 
read between the lines..."we have a commitment" not yes we will defend them. With this president the words can't mean anything, tomorrow he won't remember what he said today. Now if a military commander in charge backs him up then we have a "commitment"
 
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Nameless_one

Guest
Honestly at this point, it might be worth making some concessions on Taiwan for some on North Korea. I mean I think we all agree Taiwan will not be independent forever anyways. And the US citizens wont support a war over Taiwan. The best we could hope for would be to just keep funding and sending weapons to Taiwan in hopes of bleeding China out like Russia/Afghanistan. The problem with that though is China is much more capable and has way more resources than Russia in the 70's/80's. And Taiwan is much smaller and more connected than Afghanistan. So while I think China will end up biting off more than they can chew with an invasion of Taiwan, it's not gonna be something that causes them to lose stability.

But on the flip side, I'm not sure what the US could gain from China in terms of NK. Maybe having them completely stop supplying them and trying to get around sanctions. But China would still find a way I'm sure.
 

MichaelH

Active member
Honestly at this point, it might be worth making some concessions on Taiwan for some on North Korea. I mean I think we all agree Taiwan will not be independent forever anyways. And the US citizens wont support a war over Taiwan. The best we could hope for would be to just keep funding and sending weapons to Taiwan in hopes of bleeding China out like Russia/Afghanistan. The problem with that though is China is much more capable and has way more resources than Russia in the 70's/80's. And Taiwan is much smaller and more connected than Afghanistan. So while I think China will end up biting off more than they can chew with an invasion of Taiwan, it's not gonna be something that causes them to lose stability.

But on the flip side, I'm not sure what the US could gain from China in terms of NK. Maybe having them completely stop supplying them and trying to get around sanctions. But China would still find a way I'm sure.
I do not believe that there is a way to get reliable commitments on any significant issue from the current regime in China. Perhaps I'm too negative about that, but I just don't see any reason to give them anything in exchange for a promise.
 

Obreid

Power Poster
I do not believe that there is a way to get reliable commitments on any significant issue from the current regime in China. Perhaps I'm too negative about that, but I just don't see any reason to give them anything in exchange for a promise.
I’m more pessimistic, there is little reason at this point to believe anything agreed upon regarding DPRK or the ROC by China would be honored in the long run.
1st China does not have the sway to tweak DPRK’s position. Nor does it benefit them in the long run to do so.
2nd we should remember not all cultures view international relations like the west does. We view situations like this as each side will make a concession and we both can call it a win - win. With everyone coming away with something useful they can point to.
We forget that some cultures approach interactions like this only from the win - lose perspective. The idea of negotiating with the idea in mind of what in this exchange can be beneficial for both sides is nonsensical. The concept of I’m ok your ok - let’s make a deal does not reflect reality for them. Really is always win - lose, to assume anything else would be dishonest.
 
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Nameless_one

Guest
Global Stability, and I dont agree on that the USA is weak ( but it seems like a strategy to lure someone into a trap )
I dont agree that the US is weak either. If that was the case, China would have done taken Taiwan. People are making way too big a deal of Afghanistan falling as quick as it did. It was always just a government on paper. Everyone knew that was going to happen. Which is why Obama didnt pull out and why Trump put it off to the 2nd term. I think it's safe to assume Biden is not running for a 2nd term and he didnt care to be the fall man.

As far as China goes, maybe they do think the US is weak. Maybe they are weighing the options. Then again, maybe not. I still think the best option would just be to load the island up (more than it already is) with every conceivable defense that you can, and mine the waters as much as possible. Make China bleed for it. Amphibious landings are not easy. And what good is Taiwan if it's economic center is flattened? Not much...

The real wildcard to me is Russia. How close are they truly? We know if the US gets involved, the Aussies will; they already said so. Japan will to some degree. India is currently tense with China and it's not a huge leap to see them getting involved.

But how tight is Russias allegiance? Especially over Taiwan? I mean they were doing patrols in the Pacific with China today.
 

Erecon

Member
I dont agree that the US is weak either. If that was the case, China would have done taken Taiwan. People are making way too big a deal of Afghanistan falling as quick as it did. It was always just a government on paper. Everyone knew that was going to happen. Which is why Obama didnt pull out and why Trump put it off to the 2nd term. I think it's safe to assume Biden is not running for a 2nd term and he didnt care to be the fall man.

As far as China goes, maybe they do think the US is weak. Maybe they are weighing the options. Then again, maybe not. I still think the best option would just be to load the island up (more than it already is) with every conceivable defense that you can, and mine the waters as much as possible. Make China bleed for it. Amphibious landings are not easy. And what good is Taiwan if it's economic center is flattened? Not much...
Yeah excactly, I see afghanistan as another piece to the story about how "weak they have become"
 
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Obreid

Power Poster
We’re not military weak, we definitely have the ability to defend Taiwan’s independence.
The problem is commitment and the cost it would mean in lives. In any scenario China would have to be ready to hold US carrier groups at distance. And the reaction to a US aircraft carrier being sunk today would be extreme.
It might even provoke the use of tactical nukes. They are after all five acres of sovereign US territory with a population of up to 5000 Americans.
Just the reaction to a B-52 or B-1 getting shot down would be profoundly felt here in the American psyche.

Amphibious landings are overrated and probably impossible for any country to pull off including the US against any nation that can mount any kind of arty, missile batteries, or AirPower. Modern weapons are too accurate not constrained by night or weather.
Consequently the defending nation would have to be really pounded and not just at the coastal regions. In Taiwan’s case it would have to be virtually the whole island.
Or be prepared to suffer massive losses.

I still don’t see a full blown conflict with China trying to take Taiwan. If they were smart they will just continue to wear the Taiwanese population down. “Correcting” their thinking over time.

China didn’t help themselves with how they cracked down on Hong Kong. It only served to remind the Chinese people of Taiwan why they do not want to return to the fold.
 

RiffRaff

Deputy Director
Staff member
We’re not military weak, we definitely have the ability to defend Taiwan’s independence.
I agree with this. From a straight military perspective, we have one of the strongest and best trained militaries in global history right now. Even if you eliminate the nuclear triad, we still have conventional forces that make attacking the US a suicide mission for any other nation on the planet.

War is the continuation of politics by other means. If we hold this philosophy to be true, then the current division of US politics right now means that any war in which we engage will also be divided, meaning we cannot win it despite our superior military strength.

Vietnam was our first true experience with the interference of politics in fighting a war. Strictly militarily speaking, the North Vietnamese would have been defeated within 90 days had we committed the full might and fury of the US military to that conflict. But that level of commitment has not been seen since World War 2. Even after 9/11 we didn't engage our military like we should have. All because of politics.

And it's going to get much, much worse before it gets better. Honestly, I fear we are following in the footsteps of Rome and England, a once mighty global empire reduced to a minor player on the world stage. I doubt we will ever recover to our post-World War 2 superpower status.
 
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